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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 November 2010

Profiting from the most vulnerable

FRAIL OLD people living in homes run by Southern Cross Healthcare (SCH), Britain's biggest provider of private nursing homes for old people, pay 473 a month on average for the privilege, some pay 2,000. But many SCH homes are substandard and often dangerous - industry watchdog CQC has stuck a 'zero' rating on 19 of them.

Roger Shrives

Property dealings by SCH's greedy former private equity owners left it with huge bills that it cannot pay. Trying to buy more and more nursing homes, and making millions for its directors, its owners could not repay expensive loans from other business sharks.

In 2008 its shares lost a quarter of their value. Labour, then in government, let private owners keep control of the nursing homes. Two years later their shares are even lower and the company, desperate to be profitable, spends less and less on the homes and the staff.

Why didn't Labour take these private nursing homes into public ownership when they first showed signs of collapsing? Privatisation of care services puts profit first and leaves vulnerable people living in shocking conditions.

Why should there be a commercial market in 'care' for defenceless old people? Who runs these homes and decides on priorities for the aged? Southern Cross and other private care homes should be taken into public ownership, either within the NHS or as part of a well-financed local authority social services department. Defending public services is clearly a life or death issue.

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In The Socialist 23 November 2010:


Youth Fight for Education

Youth Fight for Education: No cuts, no fees, save EMA!

No to victimisation, defend student protesters!

Defend university access for all!

Universities occupied over fees and cuts


Anti-cuts campaign

Not one job or one service to be cut

Mass organised action can stop cuts

1,000 march in Gloucester against 'scorched earth policy'

Fighting cuts: A militant stance is what's needed

Profiting from the most vulnerable

Government plans are an attack on council tenants

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Firefighters on the march

McCluskey elected Unite general secretary


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland in crisis

Scotland and Wales: Don't accept the 'hand you have been dealt'

Cholera epidemic sparks clashes between Haitians and UN troops

Massive food price hikes spell disaster for poorest people


 

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